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Legislation Would Give EPA More Time to Review and Revise Air Quality Standards

WASHINGTON (June 24, 2014) - The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today urged Senate passage of S. 2514, the Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) . The bill would give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more time to review and revise air quality standards, ensuring a more certain regulatory environment for state air-quality agencies and businesses.

"We applaud Senator Flake's effort to bring greater certainty to the regulatory process while protecting public health. Many state agencies need more time to fully implement new air quality standards, while manufacturers with plans to build and expand in the U.S. need sufficient time and guidance to fully understand new rules. The ORDEAL Act is an important step forward, and we urge swift passage by the Senate.

"According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emissions of common air pollutants and their precursors have fallen substantially . Between 1980 and 2012, total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 67 percent, even as U.S. gross domestic product grew 133 percent. Voluntary and regulatory programs will continue to reduce ozone concentrations through 2030."

"Forcing states to attempt to meet a lower standard without ample time and consideration would inhibit investment and expansion in the chemical industry. Chemistry companies have announced plans for 184 new U.S. projects representing $117 billion in capital spending, and the broader economy stands to benefit as the effects of  abundant, affordable shale gas supplies are felt.

"The ORDEAL Act would extend EPA's timeline to review and revise National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and air quality criteria from five to ten-year intervals. It would also prohibit EPA from finalizing, implementing or enforcing a revised ozone standard until 2018. EPA has yet to fully implement the 2008 ozone NAAQS, and the additional time would allow EPA and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to consider the best way to implement new standards."


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